Online Dating Scams
On a dating site, a scammer is someone pretending to be a legitimate dating site user then tries to scam you. Scammers will ask you for money, personal or financial information or try to redirect you to websites that require payment or download malicious software onto your computer.
Scammers will go to great lengths to build a relationship with you, spending a lot of time communicating with you and perhaps even telling you they love you and sending you gifts.
The key rule is that you should never send money to anyone you meet online and should reconsider your relationship with anyone who asks you for money or who you otherwise suspect may be a scammer.
Scammers will often ask you to send money via a wire transfer service – you will usually be unable to recover money sent this way. You should also never share personal information, such as bank account or credit card details as you risk falling victim to fraud and identity theft.
If you encounter any of the following behavior, then you are most likely interacting with a scammer:
• they ask you to send them money or provide your personal or financial details
• they ask you to transfer money via a wire transfer service
• they quickly display strong feelings or love for you, or promise you sex or other intimate relationships
• they are vague about their interests, or what they want in a partner
• they claim to be stationed in or travel frequently to Africa or elsewhere overseas
• they claim to be of mixed African and US, Australian, European or Canadian descent and travel to meet relatives in Africa
• their profile, or their communications with you display poor spelling or grammar
You should never respond to a request for money, personal information or banking details, no matter the reason given.
Other scammers may ask you to send an email or add them to your chat client (eg – Skype, KIK) which then results in receiving spam containing links to other websites or attachments that often contain viruses or malware.
You can find a lot more information about scams at SCAMWatch.
SCAMwatch is a website owned and maintained by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and provides a wealth of useful information on this topic.